Comedy at the British Open Source Consortium

The BBC wants to release a product that would allow users to view BBC programs on their PC. Initially, this will be Windows-only for the same reasons 99% of third-party software OEMs target Windows first before providing support for other operating systems (if at all).

The BBC wants to release a product that would allow users to view BBC programs on their PC. Initially, this will be Windows-only for the same reasons 99% of third-party software OEMs target Windows first before providing support for other operating systems (if at all). As expained in an article on BBC news:

The BBC had initially chosen to concentrate on a Windows-based system as it is the world's dominant operating system.

In addition, it allows the corporation to use Microsoft's off-the-shelf Digital Rights Management (DRM) system that means the programmes are deleted after 30 days.

This is unacceptable to the British Open Source Consortium. Supporting Windows first gives Windows an unfair advantage, even though every company in existence, including web-oriented properties such as Google and Yahoo, release high-end features (read: features that need more than is possible with HTML / CSS / Javascript) on Windows first. That, however, is only the mildly funny bit. What's really funny is their answer to the advantage of off-the-shelf DRM capability in Windows. Quoting again BBC News:

(T)he OSC argue that DRM-free downloads would be in the "public interest".

"In an ideal world all DRM would be removed," said Mr Taylor.

So, not only should the BBC ignore the natural forces that led most of the world to consolidate around a common operating system in the first place, but they are supposed to ignore the requirements of content companies and offer content DRM-free. As content companies will never agree to let them do this, this would mean that they would have to cease to offer the service. Because free software proponents have created an environment that lacks an "off-the-shelf" DRM infrastructure (which has more to do with ideology than anything else), they attempt to deny other people the right to get DRM protected content through systems that have such an infrastructure.

Harrison Bergeron, we hardly knew ye. Say what you will about Apple, but Apple doesn't try to get government to block the release of products that might favor a competitor. Apple just makes products that runs circles around them.

What a concept.

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